A 17-year-old Form Four student is in police custody after he was found with a gun in school.
His arrest left the Orero Secondary School fraternity in shock after the pistol, which he said he had been given by a relative living in the US, was found buried next to the school fence.
The boy led police to the spot on Tuesday after other students reported they had seen him with the gun on many occasions.
Homa Bay County Police chief Esau Ochorokodi said the gun had no bullets but was in good working condition.
“We have tested the pistol and found that it is working. However, we did not find bullets in it,” said Mr Ochorokodi.
He said the boy told investigators that he got the gun from a relative who lives in the US.
“He has not revealed his motive for possessing the gun but we are still interrogating him,” said Ochorokodi.
The student was yesterday taken before Homa Bay Principal Magistrate Susan Ndegwa but could not take a plea because police had not concluded investigations and his actual age had not been verified.
According to the school’s principal, Dickens Bula, the boy, who hails from Rachuonyo North sub-county, had not shown any signs of criminal activity in the past. He was an average performer who has been scoring between C and B grades.
“He was a bit cheeky but we never saw any signs of criminal activity,” said Mr Bula.
Officers investigating the incident were yesterday asking hard questions on how the boy smuggled the gun into the school compound, which is under 24-hour security surveillance.
Police are investigating whether the boy had accomplices outside the school or if he just had the gun for fun.
The principal said he was shocked when he first received information from other students and teachers that the boy had a gun in school. His efforts to investigate the reports were futile.
“When the information reached me, I ordered secret investigations involving both teachers and students to establish where the gun was hidden but they did not find it,” said Bula.
This prompted the principal to call the police to help with the investigations.
“I had to engage the police who are experts in these matters because we trusted the boys who gave us the information. The situation was causing tension because nobody knew what the boy planned to do with the gun,” said Bula.
The student was arrested and taken to the police station where he was interrogated for a few hours before he admitted that he had the gun.
Teachers followed in disbelief as the boy led officers to a spot near the fence where he dug out the pistol.
The gun was covered with soil and dry grass.
“We were surprised to find that the boy had been hiding the gun all along. It was covered with soil and dry grass which had been slashed near the fence,” added the principal.
According to the principal, the student does not have a record of truancy.
“He joined this school in Form One and he has never dropped out,” said Bula.
Yesterday, police said they were preparing to produce the boy in court to answer to charges of being in possession of a gun contrary to the law.
His parents have already been informed about the arrest.
So far, he is still a suspect. But if found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in jail without the option of a fine.